Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

Thomas Lake loop #27 to #30

By colandene Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:May 23-28, 2022
Entry Point:27 - Snowbank Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Adventure, Ahsub, Cattyman, Disappointment, Four, Hatchet, Hudson, Ima, Insula, Jitterbug, Jordan, Kiana, One, Snowbank, Thomas, Three, Two

Three of us (brother from Philly, friend from Madison and I from the DC area) decided to do an early trip to try for lake trout. We had trolled for trout on summer trips with no luck. Outfitters suggested worms as the water was too cold for leeches to work well. We didn't try bait fish, but lots of others were using them. We'd been on a loop from Moose to Snowback with thoughts of hitting Thomas but didn't make it that far. As gluttons for punishment we pushed all the way to Thomas on the first day so we could stay two nights and took the south island campsite with a lot of rock, view to the west, and trail to a high point at north edge. My brother got the first trout from the camp rock facing west near the surface. We traveled to a reef area northeast of camp and he got another trout very shallow. On the way back to camp we trolled and he got another trout off the north point of the island. That was the end of trout for the trip though we did get some bass and a pike, it was otherwise a fairly uneventful fishing trip. We need to bush up on technique and find more local knowledge.

I missed the southwest portage leaving Thomas, not paying enough attention to how close we were and that cost us close to an hour. That hurt later as some weather came up on Insula, but in the meantime the trip out of Thomas was pleasant, even the long portage from Kiana (a beautiful lake) was not that bad, but the wind came up and it was tought to cross Insula. The good campsites were claimed and we had to crawl into one covered with blowdown on the east side. The only good thing about it was easy firewood that made the wind and rain bearable. The morning dawned nice and we slide through the narrows and down the Kawishiwi River into the burned area that is all along the south edge of the river and numbered lakes. We stayed on Lake Three with not much luck fishing, but had a small pike we roasted in foil on the fire. Again lots of fire wood from the burn all around the campsite. We wondered if campers clearing out all the readily available fuel saved the campsites as the only trees left are at the designated sites. Water was pretty high on this trip with some portages affected, some longer, some shorter, some wetter.

After a very misty morning, we set off across Lake Three and into Lake Two. The water was so still and smooth it was like riding on a mirror and gave us vertigo as up looked just like down, it was very quiet and eerie, but none of us thought to get out a camera and try to capture the moment. We ended the day in the southern portion of Lake One at a secluded inlet campsite with a cliff at the back. We got a big bass right off the camp and then headed to the waterfall at the northeast corner of Lake One, but just a couple small bass there. After a beautiful day, we had another fish dinner with no mosquitos, a serious benefit of an early trip, but it also got down near freezing at night.

We headed out under a cloudy sky wanting to be sure not to miss the passage to the norther neck of Lake One. The water was high enough that we could paddle across the base of the peninsula at the northern neck that save us a bit of paddling and got us off the water before the rain started. It was a good trip, we might have brought warmer sleeping bags, 30 degree bags didn't quite cut it. No mosquitos was a decent trade for not being able to swim, but did miss getting in the water. We did get trout, but not nearly as many fish as usual. Another great BWCA visit.

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